Sense Sound/Sound Sense

Fluxus Music, Scores & Records in the Luigi Bonotto Collection

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    George Brecht Incidental Music 1961. Performed by Ken Friedman, Geoff Hendricks, Al Hansen, and Ben Vautier (left to right) at “Milano Poesia”, Ansaldo, Milan, 1989. Photo: F. Garghetti. Courtesy of Fondazione Bonotto. Copyright © Fabrizio Garghetti. All Rights Reserved.

Past Exhibition

This exhibition was on 3 Sep 2019 – 29 Jan 2020

Sense Sound/Sound Sense

3 September 2019 – 29 January 2020

How should we use a grand piano in order to produce sound? By opening the piano and stacking wooden blocks inside the instrument until one falls and creates a noise, or by dropping dried beans onto the keys? Conceptual fluxus artist George Brecht (1926–2008), in one of his iconic works Incidental Music, instructed fellow artists to demonstrate how several people at once could interact with the piano.

The Fluxus movement emerged in the 1960s as an international network of artists, musicians and performers who staged experimental happenings using everyday materials. They shared an attitude to creativity that was anti-academic, quotidian and open to all.

Including works by John Cage, Philip Corner, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Claes Oldenburg and Yoko Ono Sense Sound/Sound Sense investigates Fluxus artists’ interest in music and sound through performance, scores, records and objects from the Luigi Bonotto Collection. Fluxus artists assigned importance to musical production, presenting public events as concerts that challenged conventional form and content in music. Their approach to music scores was equally radical. Breaking free from traditional sheet music, they devised notational systems based on graphics, poetry and the visual arts.


Sense Sound / Sound Sense is co-curated by Patrizio Peterlini (director of Fondazione Bonotto), Walter Rovere, and Nayia Yiakoumaki Curator: Archive Gallery with the assistance of Wells Fray-Smith, Assistant Curator: Special and  Emily Gray, Archive Assistant Curator

Sense Sound/Sound Sense was produced and first shown at Fondazione Musica per Roma, Auditorium – Parco della Musica Roma

This is the first UK display of the Luigi Bonotto collection, the largest collection of Fluxus documents in Italy.

Related Events

2 Alicja Wróblewska

FLUXUS LIVE: Apartment House

Thurs 10 Oct, 7pm
£9.50/£7.50 concs

The experimental music group perform live on the occasion of Sense Sound/Sound Sense, an exhibition of archive Fluxus scores from the Bonotto Collection. Playing pieces from the collection itself, expect work by George Brecht, Henning Christiansen, Philip Corner, Milan Knižak, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Jackson MacLow, Yoko Ono and Takako Saito, among others.